Seychelles aims to get utmost gains from regional integration


09-November-2011

The opening session of the workshop yesterday

Organised by the Common Market for eastern and southern Africa (Comesa), the two-day workshop was opened yesterday at the Care House by Seychelles’ chief negotiator vis-à-vis the regional body, Charles Morin.

Underlining the importance of regional integration, Mr Morin said it was gaining impetus as countries are recognising the benefits of pooling resources either in the setting up of projects or in the manufacture of goods.

Among the presentations made at yesterday’s session, was one by Walter Talma, a Seychellois and former principal secretary who is now Comesa’s country officer for Seychelles.

Monitoring and Evaluation expert Anne Ndirangu said that Comesa has already run similar workshops in six of its 19 member countries. These are Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Mauritius. 

Mr Morin said that the concern of not having relevant resources in a country is offset by the fact that such materials can be obtained from the regional bloc to manufacture goods for export.

“This increases the countries’ economies of scale by giving it a larger market to source its factors of production from,” he said.

Mr Morin however cautioned that achieving regional integration may bring about adverse effects. It is with this in mind that Comesa has established a fund with the support of the European Union (EU) under their Regional Integration Support Mechanism, from which countries may be compensated for losses that are proven to have come about as a result of a member country implementing a regional programme.

The two-day workshop is being attended by officials of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and various government agencies involved with trade and national production, such as the Revenue Commission, the Bureau of Standards, the department of Environment as well as the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).

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